Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Cat Tails

Here Kitty, Kitty

What a barn needs is a good cat. One that’s an excellent mouser, isn’t afraid of horses, but is smart enough, to stay out from under big hooves. If there are other buildings around, outbuildings that seem to be a necessary fixture of most farms, then the quota of cats must increase appreciably. It only makes sense. More territory to cover, more cats needed. It’s only simple math. The bigger the place, the more cats one needs, at least that seems to be what happens here.
It starts innocently enough. Hubby delivers a load of gravel to a friend, and comes home with a cat. A very cute, stout cat, we named Pudgie. Like every animal that ends up making its home with us, character and personality abounds. Though black and white, she thought she could hide in one of my tracks in deep snow, then leap at my knee when I walked by. It was obvious that she truly believed she could take me down. Even more than that, she actually thought she was hidden.
“I see you, Pudgie. You’re black. The snow is white. It’s pretty obvious that you’re there.”
Pudgie paid me no heed. In her cunning, little cat mind, she was a mighty hunter stealthily lying in wait, and I was going down. I have to say, she was great entertainment.
A few years later, we went along with a friend who wanted to get a kitten, and came home with two as well. As it turned out, going to see kittens, is a rather foolish thing to do. That’s how Wicket and her sister came to live with us. Those two rambunctious critters were the bane of Pudgie’s existence. They loved to pounce upon and rough her up. Though not much older, she wasn’t crazy about the whole idea. We also had Joey, a very beautiful, sadly intellectually deficient cat at that time. Those rowdy kittens never bothered him, which was probably fair. Joey was constantly using up his nine lives from all the foolish things he did. He didn’t need to be tormented on top of it. One time, he even tried to jump atop one of the horses when it was standing at the hitching rail, waiting to be saddled. Not only did he attempt to jump on the tall mare from behind, when he didn’t quite make it, he decided to dig in his claws and climb, instead of giving up. The only time I had ever seen a cat launched like that, was in the cartoons on television.
Eventually, we were down to one cat, little Pudgie. Until the girlchild caught a feral, young cat that was hanging around. He was neutered, and was tamed by her cat whisperer brother. She named him Bagheera, as he’s like a small, black panther. Then Kesha, a small tortoiseshell came to live with us. The problem was, she and Pudgie hated each other. Hated, doesn’t quite fit. They loathed each other. To save poor, tiny Pudgie, she came into the house, and she likes it, very, very much.
Then came Murky, a fluffy black cat, and after him, Roo, who looks very much like Bagheera. Roo was caught, fixed and tamed, then took his turn living with the cat whisperer, the boychild. Before we knew what hit us, we had Pudgie and Bagheera living in the house, while Kesha, Roo and Bubbles live in the Quonset outside for the winter and at night. Bubbles is the girlchild’s boyfriend’s little cat, and she’s a bossy one. She tries to tell Kesha what to do, goes in and gets chased out of the stallion pen on a daily basis, and pretty well complains, rather loudly, all the time. So we have five cats, and Murky is still at the boychild’s home.
I think we’re at our maximum quota, except there’s a dump off that’s been hanging around for months. We’re not going to keep him though. Five grown cats is enough, six if Murky comes home. Of course, we do put out food, because we can’t let the dump off starve. But we’re not keeping him … honestly we’re not. The last thing we need, is another cat. Did I mention he’s really big and orange, with a pretty, white ruff around his neck?
We don’t have one of those … yet.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB